Ontario Auto and Car Insurance Changes : Be prepared -Ontario Personal Lawyer David Hollingsworth, in Ottawa
Ottawa Accident Lawyer- Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth– The Ontario government has made changes to your auto insurance policy that have a direct impact on each and every one of us and come in effect September 2010.
Ontario Auto Insurance Changes: This summer, all Ontario drivers will be faced with the important decision of whether or not to purchase optional insurance -a basic automobile insurance package with reduced statutory accident benefits. My fear is that unfortunately, times are tough and most drivers will most likely opt for basic coverage.
Will you be affected? If you are in an accident and suffer a non-catastrophic personal injury, the answer is YES, you will.
Drivers with insurance who are in an accident and are deemed to have a non- catastrophic injury are the ones most negatively impacted by the Ontario government’s changes. The Ontario government is in the process of creating a basic insurance package of statutory accident benefits that lowers compulsory Medical and Rehabilitation benefits coverage to $50,000 from the previous $100,000. Attendant Care benefit insurance coverage will be reduced in 1/2 to $36,000 with other important restrictions.
As a Ontario personal injury lawyer, I highly recommend drivers to purchase the optional increase in Medical and Rehabilitation benefits for up to $1 million (which would include $72,000 for Attendant Care). Unfortunately the reality is most drivers will probably purchase the basic coverage. This, is in my opinion dangerous.
There are also major reductions in accident benefits for accident victims with a non-catastrophic injury claim. The Medical and Rehabilitation and Attendant Care benefits have been drastically reduced and Housekeeping and Caregiver benefits (unless you are catastrophically injured) have been completely eliminated. In most cases the at-fault insured driver will bear the costs of the reduction in the accident benefit insurance claim.
The definition(s) of catastrophic impairment has also changed, making it more difficult for accident victims to access their benefits. Assessment costs will now be deducted from the medical and rehabilitation benefits and that change will reduce the benefits available considerably. This means the costs to access your needs will now come out of your benefits, which is now reduced and capped. Meaning again, less compensation for Ontario accident victims.
Also of note, the definition of a catastrophic impairment changed and now will include single limb amputees and the evaluation of catastrophic impairment will be restricted to those practitioners who have both training and experience with catastrophic injury cases.
Unfortunately, basic auto insurance coverage does not adequately compensate Ontario accident victims and their families with the costs that are necessary in most accidents. I sincerely hope and recommend to everyone to purchase the extended coverage; knowing that will be difficult for a lot of people to come up with the extra funds each year; but in my opinion, this is an expense you don’t mess around with. I urge you to do what you can do to purchase the extended coverage.
At the best of times, Ontario’s car insurance regime is complicated and difficult to understand. If you are injured in a car accident in Ontario, you are probably entitled to certain “no-fault benefits”, but you may also have the right to sue at-fault parties for your personal injury. The right to sue is not unlimited in Ontario. There are many more proposed changes that will have a direct impact on you. For a detailed list and more information; feel free to email me for your FREE guide to Ontario’s auto insurance changes.